The continent of Africa is well known for the beauty and diversity of it's cultures and geography, as well as a spectacular array of wildlife. On the south east coast of Africa, tucked between the Great Rift Valley and the Pacific ocean, lies the beautiful country of Tanzania. With 14 national parks and reserves, such as Gombe National Park where Jane Goodall began her studies of chimpanzees
, it is one the best places on Earth for wildlife viewing.
There are many distinct habitats in Tanzania that support a thriving population of flora and fauna. The Rubondo Island National park boasts lush wetlands and is home to Nile perch and yellow spotted otters. Other species that can be found in the coastal regions are green turtles, colobus monkeys and crocodiles. Tanzania also offers whale watching excursions as both humpbacks
and blue whales
can be seen off the coast.
The islands of Zanzibar and Pemba boast their own unique species and habitats. The Pemba Flying Fox
is a fruit bat that is only found on that small island and the increasingly rare Pemba Scops owl
can be found on the clove plantations. Spice plantations and fruit groves in Zanzibar host an array of species, from large monitor lizards to small sea urchins. Menai Marine Park is the destination for divers and snorkelers to see coral reefs, moray eels
, dolphins and manta rays.
A portion of the greatest wildlife show in the world, the great migration, can be witnessed in Tanzania as well. Wildebeest, elephants, zebras, giraffes
and a great many other familiar species follow the water on their annual trek. The marshlands near the Katuma river are home to a large population of hippos and crocodiles in the water, while buffalo and impala
graze on the nearby grasses.
Birdwatchers will find many species for viewing in Tanzania as over 1,000 species call it home. There are ground birds such as the ostrich
and kori bustard
, as well as water birds like the flamingo and cormorant. Tanzania offers a bounty of nature's riches for the curious world explorers and lovers of natural beauty.